Issue 87
Free to download magazine dedicated to Commodore computers
Available as PDF, ePUB, MOBI, HTML,
TXT, SEQ and D64 disk image

Nigel Parker
Spell Checking
Peter Badrick
Bert Novilla
TXT, HTML & eBooks
Paul Davis
D64 Disk Image
Al Jackson
PDF Design
Nigel Parker
Michael Braisher
Lenard R. Roach
Bartosz Debski
Email Address
Articles are always wanted for the magazine. Contact us for details. We can’t pay you for your efforts but you are safe in the knowledge that you have passed on details that will interest other Commodore enthusiasts.
All materials in this magazine are the property of Commodore Free unless otherwise stated. All copyrights, trademarks, trade names, internet domain names or other similar rights are acknowledged. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission.
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Copyright © 2015 Commodore Free Magazine
All Rights Reserved.



Hello, and welcome to another issue of Commodore Free. I wish to personally thank all of the people who submitted articles for this month’s issue – and also thank them for their patience as they have waited so long for the articles to finally arrive in printed format. It’s great to see your work published for others to read; however, it does take time (even for me!) to throw a magazine together.

In this issue, buried amongst the news sections, are articles for new users about the Amiga – a buyer's guide with all you need to know about the various models and their capabilities, what to look for, and some simple upgrades to obtain more from the machines. Thanks goes to Bartosz Debski for submitting this.

Michael Braisher continues where he left off in Issue 83 with a follow-up article he calls Instant Music Scraps. To give you an idea of what can be achieved, Mr. Braisher has included links to some of his experiments, which are in MP3 format. I know a number of readers found the original article very interesting (and have been asking for more) so I hope Michael again gets your excitement levels pumping.

Lenard Roach has an article called “Let the Magic Begin Anew,” which he says is Commodore fiction based on real events.

Tailing on at the end of the issue, I look at a number of game releases for the Commodore 64. I also have a review of the UK1541, a piece of hardware which is, as you may have guessed – a Commodore 1541 disk emulator. The UK1541 uses SD cards as its media format, yet this particular piece of hardware is very different because it uses a full-colour screen to show disk contents, rather than loading a menu style program and launching from there. It handles disk swaps really well and seems to be very compatible with the real 1541 drive.

I still haven't had any takers for the Amiga Games reviewer position, so if you're interested please send me an email. For me the problem is the time needed to review everything, which is impossible. However, it's good news for a brand that most seem to think is dead. In fact, I was so strapped for time I almost forgot to write the editorial, and I know one person who reads it, so I presume he would be quite angry if I forgot the most important section in the magazine!

Best regards



General News

Portable KIM-1

Scott Lawrence has created a portable computer KIM-1. He used an old plastic housing of a hamfest and a display from a surplus store. The computer itself is an Arduino Uno R3 micro board with Seed Studio proton loved. You can follow the whole construction process on his blog.

Matt Gray to Remake Last Ninja 2 Audio

Exclusive Last Ninja2 and other classics. To be reworked. Check out his Kickstarter project.

Reformation will be a definitive set of Matt Gray C64 games, soundtrack remakes, produced by the acclaimed C64 musician himself.

CBM PRG Studio v3.2.1

Arthur Jordison has released a new version of CBM PRG Studio. Changes in this version: Improvements to the screen designer, assembler, sprite designer PRG generation, code indentation, and comments. Several bug fixes for code to re-format negative numbers in BYTE and WORD groups, and numbers in strings in BYTE and TEXT groups.

What Is It?

CBM PRG Studio is a Windows IDE which allows you to type a BASIC or machine code program and convert it to a '.prg' file, which you can then run in an emulator or on real hardware. It also includes character, sprite, and screen editors, as well as a fully featured 6510/65816 debugger.

The following machines can be developed for:

What CBM PRG Studio isn't is a front-end for tok64, cbmcnvrt, bastext or any other tokeniser/detokeniser/assembler. It's all been written completely from scratch.

VirtualC64 0.9.8

Dirk Hoffmann has released an updated version of his VirtualC64 emulator. Using the emulator on your Mac (OS X), you can transform the machine into a Commodore C64. Changes in this version: Support for multiple keyboard layouts & joystick, improvements for the VIC II and USB devices. Visit Dirk's web page for full details.

CES 30 Years Ago

The most important electronics expo in the USA, the CES Consumer Electronics Show. Bil Herd reminisces about the time when Commodores new computers were introduced at CES. Those days were very hectic for the Commodore employees, and you can read all about it on Bil's blog.

ZX81 beaten at last as dev claims smallest Chess code crown

Not Commodore-related, but interesting all the same.

Boot Chess needs just 512 bytes of memory, beating 1982's 1K ZX Chess

Developer Olivier Poudade claims he's beaten a 33 year-old record for the smallest working Chess program.

The previous record-holder, 1K ZX Chess, ran on the seminal Sinclair ZX81, which shipped with just 1K of RAM. 1K ZX Chess was lousy at the game, but its mere existence bestowed a little gravitas on the easy-to-ridicule ZX81.

Erasure ‘In My Arms’ 8-Bit Cover


8-Bit Weapon , a fab synth act who make all their music using simple 8-Bit electronic sounds, often generated by very early microcomputers, are in the process of making an Erasure tribute EP, kicking off with this instrumental cover of ‘In My Arms’...

The website says

It was made with the Atari 800XL microcomputer as well as Commodore 64 and analogue synths, Enjoy!

RetroWiki Magazine 10

RetroWiki is a Spanish PDF retro computer magazine.

In this edition of the magazine are the following articles:

News, Dragon 32, 64 and 200, Thomson MO5, TO7 and TO9, 5 VDC power supply, Uridium, Knight Rider, Shinobi, Commodore Plus: SD2IEC - 1541, improving your joysticks, and Crazy Balloon.

How many Star Trek games were there for the Commodore?

With the death of Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and various messages, I thought I would just clip out a link to Star Trek games as a nodding memory to the actor.

You can find more details about the actor here (live long and prosper).

The games are here

Tetris in 6502 Assembler

Wiebo de Wit has written a blog about programming Tetris in machine language. He had already released a Tetris clone in 1992, and now tells how the game was made. For development he uses Kick Assembler, Sublime Text 3.0, and the VICE emulator.

Revival Studios News

General News:

New Releases:

Coming Soon:

In Development:

C64/128 News

Back in Time Brighton ’15

Live stage show of C64 Music

This crowd funded project is now a reality!


Commodore music played live with real instruments and in some instances by the real composers themselves, as well as some “super groups” created to play live Commodore 64 soundtracks. Set in Brighton, this is always a must attend for any music fan. Head over to the Kickstarter webpage for more details and some exclusive backer offers!

Sid Doing Paula

Trooper and Andy Group Arkanix Labs has a compilation of Amiga Paula music for the C64 SID are:

SidDoingPaula-ArkanixLabs, CrackOrDie, Matkamies, Frequency Shifter, Bambam, DelicateOooz and Uridium2Loader

Dragons Lair On The C64

Not sure if it ever was a game but the “classic” Dragon's Lair is soon to appear on the commodore 64

Developed by InuYaksa as a port experiment, you should be able to play the original laserdisc version later this year. You'll need a 16MB REU extension: Vice, Chameleon or 1541U.

To be honest I was never a fan of the game at all. It’s just a case of remembering which direction to press at any key moment, watching people in the arcades eating food, then turning to the machine and hitting left on the joystick, and then turning away, soon put the game to shame. Still...

It’s an Amazing achievement for the Commodore 64, so Hats off to the programmers.


The programme emulates various light- sources.

After selecting one of the effects from the menu the emulation is initialized. After the light-source-emulation is activated, press any key to return to the menu.

Coding and Concept by Hurrican/VD

Calculate It II

Released by: Brainstorm this is a basic demo following on from Calculate it, some quite nice effects in this Demo.

Worthy of a download and listing ii - brs.prg

Twist It Game it - vd.prg

Using a joystick in port two, you have to press Fire and move coloured characters to form 3 or more in a row.

You have a limited number of moves after which the game finishes.

Written in BASIC and with no sound, this is an interesting game. I think some sort of compiler would have helped the speed, as it's quite slow, but playable.

Longer II ii - brains.prg

Ermmmm you enter a number from 1 to 5 to wee out that amount of beer and try to hit a toilet.

It’s as good as it looks really.

RGCD 2014 C64 16KB Cartridge Game Competition Results

RGCD C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition 2014 Competition Results


Contains information about the last RGCD 16k Cartridge competition, with the results and people commenting on the game entries, Very nicely coded magazine, lovely font and music.

Commodore 65 Sold On eBay

After 63 bids the auction ended with a Euro 20,050 price tag or $22,793.84. This item was listed with a serial number of 22, so it makes you wonder how many of these there were. I just wished Commodore had released this machine to the public. I would have been at the shops straight away with cash in-hand ready to buy one, although I don’t think the family budget would have covered this auction price.

C64SD Princess v3.0 - Firmware v0.10.4

Princess C64SD v3.0 is new firmware available. The changes in this version are: Improvements for the VICE VIC emulation and reading tapes of the VIC PAL. And there is a new XF5 option to avoid problems with VICE dumps.


Commodore 817 Released

Hello, I’ve released my software today to control Ham radios from the Commodore64 using the Vertex standard CAT protocol. More information may be found in the link provided. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

Thank you,

Jordan Rubin

The website reads:

After much work, the first version of commodore 817 is available for download. At this stage, testing has been completed. The test log and status is at the bottom of the page.

The running main program takes up only 3299 bytes, staying within my goal of under 4K. Other smaller areas of memory deal with Disk/Printer I/O and uncrunching. This was written in assembly using Relaunch64 and Tass64. On actual hardware this was testing using the Glink232 on a stock C64 with an MPS-801 printer

Zombi Terror

Released by: Kabuto Factory

"Zombi Terror" is an adventure game, divided in two parts, where you can move through the different locations and make special actions by the options displayed on screen, and with a "battle system" based on "dice rolling" just like some rpg-board games. In addition to the games graphics, there is a professionally composed audio soundtrack to add an ambient feel to the game while you're playing (in a similar way to the "Deus ex Machina" game by Mel Croucher). This soundtrack will be available in mp3 for downloading.

"Zombi Terror" is available for free download for the Spectrum, C64, MSX, ZX81, Windows PC and Sega Megadrive. Also, available are physical copies in a Special Edition cassette for Spectrum and the Commodore 64 (at 7€ plus shipping costs) and CD for PC and Sega MegaCD (at 4.50€ plus shipping), also coming soon in disk formt for the MSX. Coming soon, it'll be available for Android, Amstrad CPC and more...

Contact V2.0

Released by: Boray is a nice little joystick testing application for the Commodore 64.

I am unsure where the bench marking comes into it. Having tested my joystick through 4 rounds, I presume it’s the timing of the stick movements, anyway it proves that my joystick was working in both ports.

Rocket Smash EX [64kb cartridge]

Developed for the Commodore 64 home computer, ROCKET SMASH EX is an extended version of Saul Cross and John Christian Lønningdal's ROCKET SMASH, released in 2013 as an entry in RGCD's annual 16KB gamedev competition.

Your goal is simple; on each of the single-screen levels you must re-assemble and refuel your crashed rocket ship before your oxygen runs out. However, the hordes of fearsome aliens and deadly meteor showers on each planet will ensure that your mission is far from easy!

Rocket Smash EX features:

Hot Style Issue 1 [Polish]

Hot Style is a polish diskette magazine for Commodore C64 users.

In this edition of the magazine are:

RetroKomp 2014, Satellite & Kindergarden 2000 and Stary Piernik 9. The SID's in this edition are: Crystal, End of Death, Exit, Hot Style, Moonlight, No Idea, Second Time and Short Track.

Download the D64 here:

Afterlife Disk Magazine Issue 16 Released

Released recently by: Afterlife, Underground Domain Inc.

This is a Disk magazine about Spreading and the latest NTSC news

2K Game Melting Trail

Recently Released by: Iceout

Melting Trail - Documents

By Charles Grey December 2014

Melting Trail is a 2k minigame released on Christmas Day 2014. The object is to move as long as possible without hitting a solid square or your own trail. The already covered area will "melt" over time allowing you to use that part of screen again. Hitting a solid square will end the game. The melting pattern is diagonally down-to-right. Remember that you can exit the borders of the field and reappear on the other side.

Every 300 moves the level will increase. The melt rate will decrease a little and there will be a slight speed up. The game is designed to be challenging but not impossible. There are 15 levels of challenge which then reset back to 1.


Lotek64 Issue 50

German language PDF Fanzine magazine has reached issue 50.

The articles in this edition are:

Lo*bert, Editorial, News, Lotek64-Story: 50 Editions, Jill of the Jungle, The Music of Commodore 64, The history of the golden C64, Petro Tyschtschenkos memories, Amiga DeskTop Video Master / Commodore 4064, Film: Die Gstettensaga – The Rise of Echselfriedl, Leisure Suit Leo II Deluxe Edition, Barcode Battler, Games that weren‘t: I Can Remember, Street Fighter: Assassin‘s Fist, ECCC 2014 – Chicago, Game City 2014 – Wien, Chipmusik, SIDologie and Videogame Heroes #16: Tetromino I.

Matt Gray Interview On

The website recently had an interview with Matt Gray. Matt is a musician and producer who started with the Commodore C64 way back in 1985. Mat used the unique sound of the SID chip to make music for the Commodore C64. He played music on a Casio MT-45 keyboard and then would convert it to the C64. You can read the whole interview on the web page.


Stian Søreng has been working on a project he calls the C64FC flash cartridge, the device is for the Commodore C64.

The cartridge emulates an 8 Kbyte EPROM, but can be programmed from your PC.

The C64FC has an ATmega16 microcontroller for USB communication and IDT7005 RAM chip to emulate the 8 Kbytes EPROM.

HVSC Updated To 62

Recently updated is the High Voltage SID Collection. There are now more than 46,000 SIDs in the collection.

This update adds 639 new SIDs, 168 better rips, 181 SID data improved, 7 SID model / clock info 12 tunes identified and 26 tunes moved. You can download the update from the HVSC web page.

SID Known v1.09 Released

SID Known is a command line tool which you can use to identify SID tunes from SID and PRG files.

This tool can be used if e.g. you want to know which SID tune is used in a specific C64 demo or C64 game, or you have a SID tune found or ripped and you want to know if it is already in your SID collection.

The tool was created initially for the High Voltage SID Collection crew to make it easier to find double entries in the C64 music collection. Since this tool was also requested by several people, the tool is now released and can be used by everyone.

The tool creates and uses a small database which includes hashes from SID input data. The tool already includes a database that is created from the latest HVSC SID Collection (update #62).

The tool has two methods to identify SID music. The first method is based on SID input data. The tool will internally play the SID tune or run the PRG file for 3 minutes (as fast as possible) and then creates a hash of the generated data and then tries to look it up in the database.

If the tune can't be identified, it will try to play the SID tune for another clock speed (PAL or NTSC). If it then still can't be identified then it tries the second method to identify the tune. The second method will check the memory usage of the tune and will search for all the memory that is read in all the SID tunes found in the specified HVSC location. It will create an index file first to improve search speed.

NOTE: although the tool identifies most SID tunes correctly, it still can identify a tune falsely. You should always check manually if the found tune is the same as the tune that you searched for.

Ambient SID Music Competition

The list of winners of the "Ambient SID music competition" is now available.

  1. Singularity [stereo] by Scarzix
  2. Across Tundras by Linus
  3. Mechanical Waves by psycho8580
  4. Shodan by Jammer
  5. Another Cosmic Ride by celticdesign
  6. Boobsvinoambient by celticdesign
  7. Astral Travel by G-Fellow
  8. Meat Hook [stereo] by Jammer
  9. Crank Powered Async Loader V2 [stereo] by Jammer
  10. Electronic Stonehenge by G-Fellow

VDC Mode Mania V1.1

A slideshow of several graphic-modes for the C128 with 64K VDC

This little demo shows some rare graphic modes on the VDC with some converted images. Very colourful pictures in resolutions of 640x480 or 640x576 are possible as well as high resolution of up to 720x700 or 800x600 pixels. Also two text modes are included which provide a larger used screen area. Converters and sources are included.

SEUCK Compo 2015

The New Dimension web page is organizing a new SEUCK competition for the year 2015.

The rules are: C64 PAL or NTSC. Music for the intro is allowed, but the game itself you may only use sound effects.

The closing date is 31 March 2015. At present, there are already two games in the league: Gigablast Alf Yngve and 3000 Kung Fu Maniacs Demo Psytronik Software.

PlayIt64 V0.9

PlayIt64 is a tool to generate a .PRG file from a .SID music file.

The program reads the PSID header information, starts the interrupt player routine and shows information on the screen.

PlayIt is for PAL systems only and adjusts NTSC tunes to the right speed.

Kick Assembler v3.37

Kick Assembler has been going through some updates. Some of the recent changes are: The following illegal nop opcodes are added: nop #$01 - nop $02 - nop $03,x - nop $1000 - nop $1000,x.

VIC 20 News

VIC-20 Listings Website Launched

VIC-20 Listings is an archive of type-in games, utilities and other programs for the Commodore VIC-20, from various books and magazines. These programs are often overlooked or missing from other collections of retro computer software.

The aim is to make each program available for download together with details of who wrote it, where the listing was published, any special requirements, and brief instructions.

At the time of writing there are more than 850 programs in the collection.


for the Unexpanded VIC 20

Author: Boray
Released: January 22nd, 2015
Requirements: VIC-20 (runs with or without expansion)


A joystick testing and benchmarking system for the Commodore VIC-20. This program measures the contact ability of your joystick and gives it a benchmark score so that you can easily pick out your BEST joystick and hopefully improve your game-playing results.


Web Page:

Tau Ceti

for the VIC with 3K Expansion

Author: Freshlamb
Released: January 6 2015
Requirements: 3K expansion
Description: 6 linked text adventures

Check it out here:

Tau Ceti

You are in the Tau Ceti system, and COMMAND has missions for you. You land on each planet and receive your mission. Danger and excitement lie in the solutions to the quests on these strange far-away planets. Seven text adventures.

There are six text adventures; each has its own objective. You move and act in this world by typing one, two (and very rarely) three-word combinations. N will move you north if is it is possible, and works for all the directions. I for Inventory, T for Time will work for some games. Look, Use, Go, Get are good common verbs. Many of the objects (nouns) you can interact with are highlighted near the top of the screen. Because they are all under 6K they will not respond to every word combination. If you press L at the beginning of one planet you will skip to the next.

Project started- Feb 1993
Project finished - Jan 6 2015

C16 and Plus/4 News

Blackjack / Twenty-One - Plus/4

Jörg Heyltjes (DataLand) has released a new game for the Commodore Plus/4.

The game has the following options: Insurance, Split, Double Down, Surrender, Five Card Charlie, and Triple Seven in one / two-player mode (and a demo mode).

The game has a game assistant, many setting possibilities, and some special effects.

Plus/4 Game Endings

A new batch of 21 game endings for anyone frustrated to see how a game finishes. Some odd ones, including broken endings and BASIC games showing stuff you really didn't expect. Plus, the ending of Rockstar Manager. Also, see the endings of: Manic Death Chase, Heil Sperma, Nathrium Chlorid, Stonepuzzle, Stonepuzzle 2, Stonepuzzle 3, International Karate, Krakout +4, Krakout +4 2, Battery, Battery II, Shogun, ACE, Démonok Birodalma, Bölcsek Köve, Battle Star, Sir Knight, Mike To Mars, Rockstar Manager, Captain John, and Beach Head.

Commodore Free News

Not enough VIC or Plus4/c16 news? Then why not contact me with what you know and share it with other readers? I am always looking to promote the VIC and Plus 4 in Commodore Free along with other commodore machines. Pet owners: if you're reading and feeling left out, please email me with news, reviews, or projects!

Amiga News

Fish Supper – AROS

Fish Supper is a simple arcade/puzzle game, loosely based on the retro classic Frogger.

Guide a cat across a series of rivers, jumping from log to log to reach a tasty fish supper on the other side. Make sure you've got a crystal the same colour as the log before you land on it, or you'll be zapped back to the beginning.

Amiga: 30 Years

“An unprecedented feast of Amiga history”

On 27 June 2015, there will be an organized meeting in Amsterdam to celebrate 30 years of Amiga history.

There are many Amiga computers on display along with:

The KryoFlux team, Dave Haynie, David Pleasance, Christian Bartsch, István Fábián, the Ultimate PPC team, Franck Sauer, Dan Wood and Megan Abbott and more.

AmigaAMP v3.16 - AmigaOS 4

AmigaAMP is a powerful real-time multi-format audio player. It's based on the amp decoding engine by Tomislav Uzelac and can do real-time decoding on 50 MHz processors and up. AmigaAMP is completely free and a non-commercial project. Fraunhofer IIS and THOMSON multimedia grant a free license to use their MPEG Layer-3 audio compression technology for this kind of software.

880 Gamer Issue 5 Released

880 Gamer is an English PDF magazine.

In this issue are the following items:

News, Cover Disc, Game On: Desert Strike, Cadaver, The Settlers, Populous, Super Skid Marks Plus and Iso Mia. Bleeding Eyes: Flower Power, The Engine and Dose. Cheat and Talkback.

SimpleMail 0.41 – Girlfriend

Simple Mail is an email program for the Amiga (classic and OS4) and compatible systems (MorphOS). The Final Edition of SimpleMail on SourceForge has been released! Version 0.41 comes with the following changes:

AmigaRemix Update

The following Amiga music added: Dynablaster, Enigma, Lazer Squad, Street Fighter 2, Echoing, Golden Axe, Speedball 2, Full Contact, F / A-18 Interceptor, Lotus III, Cannon Fodder, Pinball Dreams, Dazzler, Harlequin, Pool of Radiance, Secret of the Silver Blades, Shadow of the Beast I, II & II, Turrican I, II & III Elysium Lotus - Checkpoint and Dogs of War - Metal Version.

Hall Of Light Updated

The Hall of Light (HOL) web page has been updated. On the website you will find information about Amiga games with screenshots, game info, cheat codes, and more. More than 200 games updated in recent weeks.

HOL Fundamentals

The Hall of Light (HOL) is an attempt to catalogue all games that were released commercially for the Commodore Amiga.

Most games in the database are of the boxed, commercial variety but there are exceptions:

There are no downloads of the games in the database as the HOL is solely concerned with providing information.

The HOL is a non-commercial project and does not generate any money.

AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition

Hyperion Entertainment is thrilled to announce shipment of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition to dealers has been started. This means that the first customers will get their own copy of AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition right before Christmas, just in time to put it underneath the Christmas tree.

Since the initial release of AmigaOS 4.1 more than six years ago, functionality and user experience have been steadily improved by six free major updates and over 88 free smaller ones through AmiUpdate. AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition defines the new baseline by consolidating all previous updates, bringing new long-awaited features and stability improvements and last, but not least, enabling the user to make a clean installation in one go. Additionally it comes professionally produced as a full version on physical media in a nice DVD box, together with a booklet containing installation instructions as well as a little extra for only EUR 29.95 suggested retail price (incl. VAT, may vary on your location).

AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition is currently available for:

CD32 - CDR Adjustment

A video to give other people an idea of how one user adjusted his Amiga CD32 drive unit to have it read CD-R discs, which it wouldn't do before the adjustment. (RetroGameModz writes)

(He continues)

However, a good understanding of how the drive unit works is essential in order to be able to make the adjustment correctly. Therefore, this is a very in-depth video that covers not only the adjustment procedure itself, but also all the theory that goes behind it.

The following is included in the video:

A lot of the information presented in this video can be applied to any kind of CD player and CD-ROM unit, since the topology behind them is usually the same, with only some minor differences between brands and models. It's also very likely that most of the information being presented here can be applied to different types of DVD-based systems as well.

Cadog Adventures – Waiting

An Original game by Niklas Wahrman for the Assembly 04 GameDev compo, OpenGL port by Martin Storsjö. Cadog is a platform game where you have to avoid all hazards such as water wells and the blob enemies. If you move in the game the world will rotate clockwise or counter-clockwise.

The game is also available from here for

Assist v2.0 - AmigaOS 4

Assist is a knowledge base of helpful information for AmigaOS users originally based on the 'Get the most out of your Amiga' PDF guide...

Features Include


AmigaOS 4.1 (Update 2 or later)

Amiga External Disk Drive

Upcoming product

An External floppy drive has been designed by Roman Breñski, Jarosław Bieliñski and Radosław Kujawa.

This external drive will have the following features:

Amiga Future Issue 112 Released

A new edition of the English and German Amiga magazine Amiga Future is available.

In this edition:

Previews: ArtBase.

Reviews: Kultmagazin, Os4 Depot Spiele, AskMeUp, VoxelNoid, Back to the Golden Age, Centron 3D, Aquanaut, Renegades Deluxe, Icaros Desktop, Backup, MPlayerGUI, CodeAudio, SimpleMail, AmigaOS 4.1 Final, Rapid Road.

Special: Demoscene, Classic Reflections Part 19 DKB Software.

Workshops: Programming AmigaOS 4 Part 10.

Others: Interview AmigaOS 4.1, Showreport AmiWest 2014, Editorial, Content, News, Imprint, Content CoverCD, Letters to the editor, Preview

Cloanto Workbench Disk Pack

Cloanto Releases Downloadable Workbench Disk Image Pack

As part of its Amiga Forever Classic Support series, Cloanto is making available the downloadable Floppy & Hard Disk Image Pack:

The set makes it possible to boot and set up any Classic Amiga model (including the Amiga 1000, 3000 and 4000T) using a floppy drive emulator or after copying to suitable media (floppy disks, CompactFlash cards, etc.)

Included ADF files:

Included HDF files:

For additional information on the included improvements:

Workbench 3.1 Improvements

Workbench 1.x-2.x Improvements

The downloadable disk pack is available now for $9.95 (or EUR 9.95 inclusive of VAT).

BetterWB v3.8

A new version of BetterWB Workbench pack has been released, that aims to be an enhancement, an updated extension to AmigaOS 3.1, without all those hardware requirements typically associated with these kind of packs. It is indeed a better 3.1 than 3.1 itself!

BetterWB works on any Amiga. It installs on top of a clean AmigaOS 3.1 installation. It is distributed as a set of floppy images and occupies about 10MB of hard drive space.

Changes since last version:

You can download BetterWB from its homepage at:

Gotek Floppy Emulator

Dan Wood has a video of the Gotek floppy emulator.

This floppy emulator is using a USB flash drive to read the disk files and is compatible with Amiga computers.

The video then shows how the system works and he talks about the change in the firmware needed to make the system compatible with the Amiga Gotex.


WHDLoad makes it possible to play Amiga floppy games from your hard drive. New releases are: Cracker Journal 3-12 (Alpha Flight), Zine 1-11 (Brainstorm), Grapevine 5-21 (LSD), Vector Demo (Vector All Times) and Apocalypse (God). Custom: Player Manager (Anco), Mega Demo (Dragons) and Analogia (Analog)

Flashtro Amiga

On this web page you can watch all kinds of intros via your browser. The original intro of the Amiga, Atari ST, Dreamcast, PC, PlayStation etc. are converted to flash. The latest Flashtro are: Bad Trip - Action Stations, Vision Factory - Hunter Killer, Oracle - Grand National and Possessed - VIZ

Gigalomania v0.27

Gigalomania is an open source 2D Real Time Strategy god game, available for all popular desktop and mobile platforms, on PCs, tablets and phones. The gameplay consists of researching and developing new technology with which to conquer your enemies, from rocks and sticks to nuclear weapons and spaceships. You can advance through ten different ages, from the stone age to the future. There are 28 different maps to play through.

The game is still a work in progress. The gameplay is more or less complete, but the graphics need will be improved. Gigalomania is available for: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, AROS, MorphOS, AmigaOS 4, Nokia Symbian, Maemo, Meego, Android, and Pandora

Amiga 1200 Compact Flash

Amiga 1200 Compact Flash CF IDE Back Plate Adapter

If you want to easily install or remove your compact flash hard drive on your A1200 without the inconvenience of opening the A1200 every time, then this adapter with back plate will help.



The provided IDE cable plugs on to the standard 44-way internal A1200 IDE header and laid flat across the shielding, passing underneath the floppy drive to the rear trapdoor. Back plate is secured in the rear space underneath the floppy drive.

Contents of kit:

Clockport Expander II

Matthias Münch has released a Clockport Expander for the Amiga 1200 desktop.

With this version you can use the Expander with one of the many expansions options such as the BVision, G-Rex PCI Busboard, Delfina Flipper, MP3@64, Silver Surfer, Subway USB, RapidRoad USB, Melody 1200, Prelude 1200 and the VS1011 Card.


Christopher Handley has released a new version of PortablE. This is a recreation of the AmigaE programming language with many improvements. The program is available for Amiga OS3, OS4, AROS, MorphOS and Windows.

Update of the Amiga Games List

Amiga Games List maintained by David 'Daff' Brunet started in April 1991, updated now on the 44th edition published on 17th January. Now features:

All the list, its history, and statistics can be found at:

zTools 1.3 Available on AMIStore

zTools is a bundle of 14 programs for your Workbench, available now from AMIStore App Store zTools


AROS Vision 2.9 Online

Direct Download:

Conditions for download:

Personal Paint 7.3a Available Now

A-EON Technology Ltd is pleased to announce a new version of Personal Paint for both AmigaOS 4.1 and AmigaOS 3. The new version is a free of charge upgrade for existing 7.3 customers now on AMIStore Amiga App Store and the A-EON Secure Download website for registered customers.

If you do not yet own PPaint, you can purchase this new version by either visiting the official website or on the AMIStore App Store .

Personal Paint for the Amiga has recently been purchased by A-EON Technology and is being actively developed by Andy Broad for A-EON. In keeping with our commitment to providing new quality software for the AmigaONE X1000 and Classic Amiga computers, expect further upgrades and enhancements to PPaint during 2015.

Obligement's Birthday: Now 18!

French magazine Obligement was first created on January 1st 1997.

Happy belated birthday!

The following articles have been added to the Obligement's website ( during the last two months:

Rendez-vous on for this nice reading.

All translations are welcome. Please contact David "Daff" Brunet for more info.

AmiKit 8.1 Released

AmiKit is now even better with a new version of MUI4 and other improvements. A few minor bugs from the previous version were squashed in this release.

AmiKit 8.1

AISS 4.18 Available

AISS is a pool of toolbar images, graphical templates, and other useful artwork for Amiga applications.

The new release features more than 5,000 images in the AmigaOS icon design and for compatibility reasons all pictures and animations of the previous releases.

The new archive is available on and

New 2015 Calendar for Amiga Fans

with 30th Birthday July Theme

A-EON Technology is pleased to announce that a new 2015 Calendar. Features special 30th Birthday theme in July. This calendar is ideal for Amiga fans everywhere. Great to put up on the wall at home or put one in the office as a talking point with your work colleagues. Great as a special collector item for the 30th Birthday celebrations in 2015.

Features Classic and next generation themed months.

Where to buy:

Workbench CANDI Update

Released On AMIStore App Store


A-EON Technology Ltd is pleased to announce a new version of WB CANDI animated Workbench backdrops for AmigaOS 4.1. The new version features a special Christmas backdrop as well as a Space theme and is available now on AMIStore Amiga App Store.

What is CANDI?

Back in January 2014 we were discussing ideas on how to use some of the extra CPU and RadeonHD power that the AmigaONE X1000 and X5000 systems provide. The idea of modernising Workbench with animated backdrops was developed and Thomas Claus, Frank Menzel and Keving Saunders offered their services for this new project. We hope to continue expanding this exciting project and more like it in 2015 as part of A-EON Technology's ongoing commitment to investing in new Amiga software. You can view CANDI video demonstration here:

Changes In This Release

Where do I get it?

It can be now downloaded from the new AMIStore App Store for AmigaOS.

This update is FREE for existing CANDI users.

Special Thanks

Special notable thank you from A-EON Technology go to: Frank Menzel, Thomas Claus and Kevin Saunders

A-EON Technology Ltd

A-EON Technology Acquires Aladdin4D


A-EON Technology is pleased to announce that it has purchased the AmigaOS source code and development rights for Aladdin4D from DiscreetFX. As part of the agreement A-EON will exclusively own the Aladdin4D 68k and PPC source code, domain name, brand and rights for all AmigaOS and related versions including emulation and future MorphOS and AROS ports. Meanwhile DiscreetFX will retain the rights for non-Amiga related operating systems.

Aladdin 4D is software for modelling and rendering three-dimensional graphics and animations for the Amiga platform. It was originally created by Greg Gorby and subsequently updated by Nova Design before being acquired by DiscreetFX in December 2007. Prior to our acquisition DiscreetFX was working on a new version 6.0 for multiple platforms.

Aladdin 4D is one of the few modern 3D applications for the Amiga platform. It uses an OS-compliant GUI which supports RTG displays and utilizes the AmigaGuide Help system and also features an ARexx port for scripting.

Aladdin 4D includes many advanced 3D features:-

Trevor Dickinson, A-EON’s co-founder commented on the latest addition to A-EON’s growing software catalogue. “The purchase of underlines our commitment to deliver more software content for the Amiga platform. Expect to see more titles added in the future.” DiscreetFX CEO, Bill Panagouleas, added, “Although I’m sad to see it go, I know it is in a safe pair of hands and look forward to A-EON continuing its rich heritage.”

Official news release

EasyNet Pro Available

Available from and as a digital download on AMIStore App Store for AmigaOS.

EasyNet Pro is a TCP/IP stack solution for your classic Amiga helping you join the internet and add your Amiga to networks in order to share files with other computers.

Upgrade option for existing EasyNet users:

If you own the standard version of EasyNet, you can upgrade to EasyNet Pro at a discounted rate by selecting Upgrade from EasyNet in the product page. You must also include your original serial number for validation in the order comments- without this your upgrade cannot be shipped to you.

Devices Supported

EasyNet Pro supports the following Amiga SANA-II network devices:

3c589.device, prism2.device, cnet.device, FastEthernet.device, x-surf.device, rtl_8139pci.device, MediatorNET.device, usbasixeth.device, usbpegasus.device, ioblixether.device, hydra.device, dm9601eth.device, x-surf-100.device, plipbox.device

System Requirements

AmigaOS 4.1 Mplayer Altivec Optimization

A collection of money for Altivec Mplayer optimization has been proposed and there is a programmer for it. But he needs 805 Euro for the programmer.

+ PayPal fee for receiving money (1.9% + 0.35 EUR) 15.65 Euro

+ 10% withdrawal fee if this bounty should be fail

AmiKit Real Update 8 Released

Amiga Kit Announced

We are happy to announce the release of the new full and update installers of AmiKitReal!

Free download available at:

Now including new programs like Rainboot v3.2, so now you can boot with a progress bar and select among eight configurations plus a random one, a new MorpheuZ with different images, voices and options, the Renegades Deluxe game, Cooper-Demon, a new IconMaker program by James Stalham to create your own icons or ScreenText by Thomas Rapp to welcome you with some info on screen.

With this update we are introducing two programs that are under development. MUI 4 is installed by default but you can revert to the 3.8 version using MorpheuZ, and the new DOpus 5.91 can also be installed with the help of MorpheuZ.

Five more booting voices by DJNick that will play randomly when you boot, new wallpapers and patterns and many other improvements for example in the User Menu (Magellan) to directly edit the Startup-Sequence or User-Startup, updates like NetsurfAGA, changes on some preferences or a “Better Config” program on Tools that will let you use a “Top config” on WinUAE or powerful Amiga with just a click. Seven Icon-Scripts have been created to launch some radio streams with a double click or directly from a new dock on AmiDock.

The update installer will also update the Mattahan's Icons Set for those that are using it, and I am releasing also a 16 Colours Ken’s Icons pack that will use 32 colours for each one (16+16) instead of the 512 they normally use, and that will mean a huge boost on the icon’s speed.

Many thanks to Thomas Rapp for his great help with many options of the update, update of his ScreenText program or small scripts to run a lot of options, Dan Wood for sharing his Radio stream scripts, Andreas Falkenhahn for his Rainboot program and help, DJNick for his booting voices, Thilo Köhler for his help with ImageConverter, James Stalham for his new IconMaker program and Ken Lester for sharing his own scripts to create icons. Also thanks to Neil Kafferkey for the new Prism2V2, to M.C. Battilana and AmigaKit for sharing Personal Paint 7.1c. Thanks to Kycer/CSG for ksc_TotalReset and finally a great Thanks to Wayne Ashworth and Kevin Darbyshire for the update of the Renegades Deluxe game.

Have fun!

Some Screenshots:

Amiga Mania Issue 8 Released!

Amiga Mania Announced

We're extremely proud to announce that our latest issue is available.

The 8th release of our mag is still available only in Hungarian version, but we think that if not for any other reason than just showing our enthusiasm it deserved to be mentioned here.

The online version can be reached here:

The link for the PDF free download will be available later this weekend.

Now we'll continue our work for the next release...

New Kickstart 3.9.1 68k Development Announced

A new version of the Amiga Kickstart is in development.

For More information click here :

Beta 1:

Beta 2:

Mediator Multimedia CD Update 2.3

The Mediator Multimedia CD 2.3 update is available for registered users of all Mediator models.

The update includes a new versions of:

The pci.library ver. 9.10 includes new procedures for allocation of the DMA buffers for PCI cards working in the busmaster mode. New software improves timings of the PCI busmaster cards (Spider, SB4.1, SB128, FM801, TV tuner, FastEthernet) during their accesses to the DMA buffers located in the SDRAM/SGRAM memory of the PCI GFX card. New software should solve issues of same SB128 cards in the Radeon based configurations.

In the new version of the MedConfig script the support for RadeonMemOS, VoodooMemOS and SpiderBuf variables has been added. New RadeonMemOS and VoodooMemOS variables allow to control the function which adds a part of GFX card SDRAM/SGRAM memory to the Amiga system memory.

Information on the current versions is available in the DOWNLOADS

Elbox homepage is here

Fractals For SketchBlock 1.5 Released

Fractals For SketchBlock plugin for SketchBlock.

Existing Customers can download it now

Fractals for SketchBlock, enables you to create and animate Fractal based designs in full colour.

New in this version:

Theming: if SketchBlock Lite has been purchased from AmiStore, Fractals for SketchBlock will adopt the current theme.

Smoothing: Iteration based colouring modes can now be smoothed, giving even transition between colours.

Repeating Palette Mode: This new colouring mode uses one colour from the palette for each iteration step, giving greater control by allowing the user to create their own colour transitions. Works best with longer palettes with gradual colour changes (unless you want a stripey look :-) ).

If you haven't already bought Fractals or SketchBlock you can buy it here

for just £5.00, or take advantage of the convenience of buying from AmiStore.

Calimero 0.2

Carsten 'pegasossigi' Siegner has just released Calimero 0.2, the future native word processor for MorphOS.

Planned features:


Visit pegasossigi website.

Don't hesitate to support Carsten in this project participating to the dedicated bounty available at


Feature list from this version:

New PCMCIA Right Angled Adapter from AmigaKit

AmigaKit announced that the new PCMCIA Right Angled Adapter for Amiga 1200 or 600 is now in available and in stock.

AmigaKit had numerous requests for the product from customers and in commitment to supplying new Classic Amiga hardware, we have managed to locate the rare components and put a new design into manufacture. This is a limited production run.

Saku 2014: Photo Reports and Highlights

Finnish Amiga Users Group's Saku 2014 event was held recently in Tampere, Finland, with an estimated 200-300 visitors.

Highlight of the event was Petro Tyschtschenko's (Commodore/Amiga International) and Michael Battilana's (Cloanto) speech, other interesting guests, such as the theatre director and writer Jotaarkka Pennanen, who was one of the very first Amiga owners in Finland. He continued utilizing Amigas both personally and professionally all the way up to the Amiga 4000.

Not only were Amiga and Commodore machines on display but also Sinclair, Atari, Salora, MSX compatibles etc...

Videos like walkthroughs, Saku 2014 time-lapse and speeches can be found on our YouTube channel.

Official event page also contains links to other photo reports and blogs.

Commodore Free Amiga Games Reviewer Wanted

Could you review games for Commodore Free?

I am looking for an Amiga Games reviewer, as you see I don’t have time to review Amiga games. I am ok with the 8-bit stuff, but find I have no time to look at Amiga games. As this magazine is supposed to cover all Commodore machines, you may feel the Amiga is neglected and have a flair for reviewing the latest releases. No monetary rewards are offered and you will need to source the game files yourself, but I can offer you short deadlines and long work hours.


Then why not Contact me at:

A Few More ‘Instant Music’ Scraps.

By Michael Braisher

following my last appearance in issue 83.

Today we take in a little more Commodore emulation. Especially with VICE's MIDI support and such, there's been no better time to marry all options. Also, I'm reminded how studio pros mourned the death of talent with the advent of electronic machines, particularly by the '80's. 'Just press a button and out comes music', a complaint often justified, mind you.

Yes, equipment can make people lazy but it also liberates us dilettantes. After all, if you can only get your clumsy claws around a Band Hero controller or sound-to-MIDI tool like Melodyne, for whistling in your tunes to notation, then why not use the tools to get yourself on disk, too?

So let's get down to cases.

Commodore 64 and PC: SID WIZARD - A sweet step/real-time sequencer I also use to convert MIDI files to SID. And it does a brilliant job, especially with presets used from the included songs. Excellent if you have no MIDI cartridges and it's a good compliment if you do, tweaking all the more fun from your own styles.

In short, you export your three-channel MIDI from your DAW - recording software - of choice, convert it to a working file with the Wizard MS-DOS wedge in the Command Line, before lopping off the output file's .PRG extension. Then simply import that to a disk image and you're away. A further program on the Sid Wizard floppy itself converts your finished working file to SID for play elsewhere.


I also use: WinVICE, D64 Editor, SidPlay 95, and Star Commander.

This is where the convenience of sticking purely in the virtual world - emulation - really comes up trumps. You can spend a fuss-free project bouncing project files internally before finally transferring to a real 64 for the final mix dub. Or investigating the stereo spreads with Sidplay.

There's much in the program to play with, such as ADSR, waveforms, real-time keyboard input, and the other classic synth-y bits, so hit F8 for the options. Anyone looking over your shoulder will think you're a real clever-clogs to make music from what looks like the stock exchange index screen. But it's really very intuitive, stacking the tune by notes and octave number.

(Watch out to insert a preset number above the channel parts you're filling in, or else only playback in Wizard will output a sound.)

Quick doodle:


PC: KIRNU CREAM - Free with COMPUTER MUSIC back-issue 210, here's a lovely real-time MIDI chord and riff VSTi (virtual instrument), working first place in a chain across DAW multi-tracks. Think of it as a virtual synth-effect controller. And it's easy.

Attached to MIDI track one, select the MIDI OUT and MONITOR options in Cream's Plug-in menu, before opening a virtual instrument on a second MIDI track. On that, select the sequencer's internal MIDI line as data source input because that's where CREAM pipes its output.

Then simply play whatever, with your input keyboard monitored by the Cream channel, and out comes magic. As the tracks record, you will have both straight and affected MIDI lines laid on these two tracks. You can monitor each or both and have a ball experimenting with the controls.

One thing about Cream is arpeggiation of the input MIDI, with various randomisation and pattern options. This allows for some accompaniments, such as this drum line for a quick MIDI keyboard doodle, using other virtual instruments:

(In addition, try the free BASIC64 virtual instrument for similar ARP functions when playing with SID sounds.)

Also with the same issue comes Cumulus, an interesting WAV-based rompler where sound snatches are played from colour-coded markers on the imported audio. Plus Energy CM, which is a far more straight-forward arpeggiating monosynth.


I've also been answering questions about using the Commodore in-studio. If you want more, you can always join the Lemon or Commodore Remix boards and ask me (Commie User) a question.

Of course there have been plenty more I haven't covered, such as BAND IN A BOX (which is also just peachy) and doubtless more to come. But try these for a cheap collection of obscure gems and to help yourself sound a pretty good dilettante virtuoso!

Let the Magic Begin Anew

(Commodore fiction based on real events)

By Lenard R. Roach

The physicians met behind closed doors while I waited outside on the sofa, wondering what they were talking about. I could only imagine what the conversation was going like–

“I don't know what to do with Mr. Roach,” one doctor might say. “We've tried just about every medicine on the planet and nothing seems to help him.”

“If it wasn't for his insurance being so well packaged, I would have sent him home long ago and let him live out his life there with this condition running through his mind,” another might say.

“Let his family deal with him!” a third might exclaim.

One doctor, probably the one who attended me most during my stay in the psyche ward, may have stood up in front of his fellow physicians and said, “People, maybe we are approaching Mr. Roach's bipolarism from the wrong direction. We are trying to shove a drug store down his neck; maybe there's a therapy we haven't tried yet.”

“Perhaps, but which one?” a voice would ask from the far end of the table.

That's when she rolled in. She was an elderly lady, stricken to a wheelchair for some years by a debilitating disease that I don't know about. Her hair was cut short and powdered with white and black strands. Her features made her look like a strong stage actor whose presence would draw applause for her just showing up. She was thin and not well built. There was nothing about the woman that would attract any suitor, but she wasn't interested in dating; she was interested in healing the sick.

She rolled up to the table with all these educated people staring at her, not to stare at her handicap, but because they knew that if any had any suggestions to help me, it was her. She may have stopped her chair just short of the doctor sitting at the head of the table. She may even have tried to stare down the others who were there, but all focused their attention on her.

“Give Mr. Roach to me,” she might have said. “I think I may have a solution.”

Without any hesitation, the physicians pointed me out, sitting just outside the door. She wheeled herself out the main door and into the psyche ward waiting room where I sat. She came up to me, smiled, and took my hand.

“Are you ready to try something different?” she asked me.

“I'm tired of medications,” I responded, “nothing seems to work with me.”

“This isn't medication, this will be therapy. Something I think will help you.”

“I'll try anything,” I said, “just make me think like a person again.”

“Then meet me in the patient lounge at 10:30 and we'll begin with the other students in the group.”

At 10:30, I walked into the patient's lounge and there sitting with the woman in the wheelchair was a group of folk who seemed to have it together. They communicated with each other intelligently; they laughed and smiled and none of it seemed like their facial expressions were psychotic or unreal; they were – human. On their laps were clipboards with paper and in their hands were pens and pencils. I was ushered into the room by a gesture from the woman. She pointed to a funny looking device that I would later discover was called a keyboard, a disk drive, and a monitor.

“I understand from your profile that you can type pretty good,” she said. “This is a typewriter of sorts. It's a word processing program loaded from a disk in that disk drive into what is known as a Commodore 64. This will be your instrument to use during our sessions. No one else has the privilege to use this unit but you. I'll show you how to load and run the software later; right now it's ready to go. Don't worry about the semantics of the program, just do what I tell you and the rest of the class.”

I sat down at the funny thing which seemed to have more wires running to and from it than my dad's old 67 Bel Air station wagon, but I saw on the keyboard that the keys were arranged just like they were on a standard typewriter. I poised my fingers on the keys like a concert pianist ready to give the performance of a lifetime, and waited.

When the woman in the wheelchair saw I was ready, she turned to the rest and spoke. “Now students, I want all of you to start writing about the time when you felt the most betrayed. Be as detailed or a vague as you want; make your statement as long or as short as you want, just get your feelings out on paper. Go.”

With the ten or so people in that room, each of them scratching with a pen or pencil, it sounded like a cat digging into the cat litter covering its latest deposit. The sounds I made were completely different – ticka, ticka, ticka – as I started out slowly trying to get the feel of this non-typewriter typewriter, but soon the emotions started to flow as I thought about when I was hurt the most. I typed faster and faster as the moment came back to me in full review, but the faster I typed, the more mistakes I made. I found the delete key and backed up several times, each time breaking my stride on the emotional tidal wave.

“Don't worry about mistakes in your writing,” the woman in the wheelchair explained as she came up behind me, “just keep going and don't let that moment escape you. Write it all down; every second, every emotion, every action. Don't correct anything, just keep going.”

With great fervor I pounded on that poor Commodore 64. I was getting so fast that really thought that for a minute I was Clark Kent at the Daily Planet beating Lois Lane on a story, with me having the power to type 5,000 words a minute. Before I knew it the hour for the session was up. Many of the patients were done and milling about the lounge, some were still working on the assignment like me, but they only had paper and pencil or pen, while I had the help of the Commodore 64 word processor, I had more done, but even after the session was over I was still typing. The woman put her hand on my shoulder.

“You can stop now, Lenard,” she said. “You've done enough for today. We'll pick this up again tomorrow.”

I got up from the chair and the Commodore 64 and she rolled herself into my place. With a few clicks of the keys, the disk drive roared into action with red and green lights flashing like it was Christmas morning. After a few seconds the drive settled down. She lifted a lever in the front of the disk drive and out popped a flat, square plastic plate with a hole in it dead center. She turned her chair around to face me.

“I've saved all that you've written onto this disk,” she explained, “and I'll read what you have written on my own Commodore 64 at home. Go have some lunch, but before you go, tell me, how do you feel now?”

I never thought about my emotions for the hour I was on the Commodore 64. I was pouring all my emotions into the Commodore there in the lounge, spelling out every emotion and feeling that I could think of, and not thinking of anything else, but for the first time in a while my thoughts weren't running 100 miles an hour, thinking of hurting anyone else or killing myself. For the first time in many months –

“I feel...great,” I told her. “I feel calm, collected, in control; I haven't felt like this in months.” I looked at her with amazement. “How did you do it?”

She chuckled a little, then looked into my eyes with her own blue eyes. “Me? I didn't do a thing. You did it all yourself. You've always had the capacity to help yourself, Lenard, you just needed someone to point you into the right direction, and I think, by golly, that we may have found that direction.”

For the remaining two weeks I was in the psychiatric ward at the hospital, I looked forward to 10:30 and the little woman in the wheelchair who seemed to have the power to open my soul on a Commodore 64's word processor. She even taught me some basic Commodore commands so I could load the word processor and save my work to that very same disk she took home every day. The students (I was surprised she never called us “patients” but “students”) and myself were always working on something different every day for those two weeks, never taking a day off; we even attended on weekends. It was the best stay I've ever had in a psyche ward.

Two weeks later I was sitting on the same sofa, but this time with my bag packed and ready to go home to my wife and children, but there was still one more behind closed doors meeting that the doctors had to have concerning me, this time with the little woman in the wheelchair attending, sitting at the head of the table. I could only imagine what they might be saying now.

“I don't know how you did it, doctor,” the head physician in charge of my case might say, “but Mr. Roach has made a complete 180 and is ready to go home. What in God's name did you do?”

I'm sure she gave him and the rest of the attendees a brief but direct explanation of what she did, my “treatment,” as it were, and how that, with less medication, I was able to function again with the rest of society. The head doctor, I'm sure, leaned back in his chair with a big smile on his face.

“Good work, doctor,” he might say. “Mr. Roach is discharged and ready to go home.” The head physician would look at the attending nurse next to him. “Please give Mr. Roach his list of medications to take before he goes home.”

“Right away, doctor,” she would respond and exit the board room. All the doctors left at once, with the woman in the wheelchair coming out last. She rolled herself over to me on the sofa.

“You're free to go.”

“What will I do now?” I asked. “What's my next form of treatment?”

“You'll be visiting a therapist for the next several months. The nurse will be bringing you a list of medications that you need to go to the pharmacy and fill.” She put her hand on my shoulder again. “And never, ever, ever, stop writing. Put your feelings down on paper or computer every day. You've got some talent there, Lenard. I'm not surprised that you'll be a successful author someday.”

I looked down at my hands. “I never thought of that before,” I told her, “but you've opened a whole new world for me. I don't know how to thank you.”

She chuckled again. “You can thank me by going out there, live your life, and never let me see you back in this facility again.”

“I'll try.”

“Yoda said, 'Do, or do not. There is no try.'”

“Yes, doctor. Thanks for being here. Good luck and God bless you and your work.”

The nurse came out of her station and gave me my list of medications to take.

“Watching people like you walk out of this facility a lot better off than when they came in, I think He already has.”

I grabbed my bag, stood up, and waited for security to open the door to the outside.

“One more thing, Lenard, “the lady in the wheelchair said, “you're wife and kids have a surprise for you when you get home.”

“What is it?” I asked.

“If I told you then it wouldn't be a surprise.”

She laughed as security opened the door and escorted me to the waiting cab.

My wife threw her arms around me and squeezed the dickens out of me when I walked into the house a new man, a new husband, and a new father. Behind her were my friends who took care of my family while I was in the hospital. They all shook my hand and mussed up my hair as I stood there with my family.

“The doctor said that you have a surprise waiting for me.”

My wife and friends spread out like Moses opening the Red Sea and allowed me to see, sitting in the living room, an exact copy of the Commodore 64 that I used while I was in the hospital, complete with disk drive and a printer. I walked slowly over the machine and lightly touched its keys, remembering the unit that was in the patient's lounge at the hospital. I looked over the disk drive and printer like an archaeologist checking a rare artifact. I glanced back at my wife.

“The doctor said you could use one of these,” she said with a smile. “It's a hand me down, but it still works.”

My friends rolled an office chair up to the Commodore 64 and invited me to take a seat. I sat down at the machine and looked into the monitor, where the same word processor I was using at the hospital was loaded and the cursor was flashing, waiting for input. I looked around at everyone with a tear in my eye, then looked back at the Commodore. I poised my fingers on the keyboard as I have done for two weeks before.

Let me magic begin anew ...

Review: UK1541

By Commodore Free

UK1541 is a real-time drive emulator with cycle-exact 6502 instruction execution and VIA emulation just by a tiny MCU, LCP1114, Cortex M0, 48Mhz (0,84 DMIPS/Mhz).

Developed by: Krzysztof Switajski aka Kisiel/ICON

Features for Core Version

Comments from Krzysztof the developer

The UK1541 is a real-time drive emulation with 6502 core instructions, and VIA’s placed into little MCU. Plus LCP1114, Cortex M0, 48Mhz (0,84 DMIPS/MHz) and User Port connection. The benefit of this is it works with c128 in 2Mhz Mode. The LCD TFT Screen 2,2", operating at a resolution of 320x240, in True Colour, with an IR receiver for remote control, mini jack IEC port, and two buttons: menu and reset. The LED's top is RED for the drive and has the same function as a real 1541 drive. The motor LED indicates if the motor is on or off and is coloured yellow for debugging. Lower red indicates errors.


Lugs connected to the device for easy removal

Developed by Krzysztof, and called the 'UK1541' also known as the Ultimate killer.

So we have yet another 1541 disk drive emulator, in what seems to be like a very crowded market already!

However this product, from opening the box looks a little different. For a start the device plugs into the User port leaving the expansion port of your machine free. This means the device can be used with your old fast load cartridge. The device has a small cable that connects to the disk port IEC. It looks like a small audio jack plug but it's not! The device also has something I haven’t seen before: a full-colour LCD screen!

Unboxing the devices was exciting; we had an IEC cable with a mini jack plug on one end, two “lugs” with screws and a remote control, and of course the device itself. Sadly missing from the box were detailed instructions on what to do and what goes where. Rocket science it may not be, but even so ...

The one thing you need to do before rushing in and plugging the device into your machine is to connect the small lugs on the bottom of the device. This will allow easy removal, but also stop you from snapping the device; it’s a really snug fit into your machine. If you don’t connect them you could break the card or damage it because as I found out, it’s almost impossible to pull the device out without them connected! It also protects the unit as well.

You plug the device into the user port, the IEC lead plugs into the disk drive, and the mini-jack on the other end plugs into the UK1541. I also connected another joystick into the device to work the menu system (although this can be worked via the remote control, but without instructions I erred on caution and plugged in a joystick). Once connected to your computer the screen can be seen just popping up over your computer. Powering on you are met with a rather unspectacular screen that basically just tells you to insert an SD Card. Now, I am not sure if this is hot swap card so I powered off and plugged in my card. You need a FAT 32 formatted card for the device to work. The creator recommends a class 10 and your disks (for neatness) should be placed in folders with (already) unzipped D64 files. I only tried D64 images, but the author is working on other formats like PRG files, so watch the website for more news.

I was expecting some sort of swish splash screen, but hey ho...

Unspectacular loading screen

Once an SD card is inserted you see a listing on the left side of the led screen showing your folders or disk images and on the right when you select a D64 shows the disk contents. Bottom-right shows if the disk is mounted. To my mind it looks very slick!

Picture from authors website

Move a D64 over to the left pane and pressing Fire will mount the D64 image.

Pressing again unmounts it. This lets you use the joystick to scroll to side B or the next disk, and select it with Fire to mount the disk. It works really well and two disk demos worked without a problem.

Time to turn the disk

The LED Screen is bright and very clear, Some people claim the screen is too small, but I can’t see how you can alter this neatly. Personally, I just think it needs to be in a case, and the remote control needs to have buttons to reflect what they do. The remote does adds a little to the package, and once learned the controller can be used at a distance from the machine to change disks. The thing is, you always sit in front of the C64 so I can’t see the screen size or font being a real issue. The screen show the whole disk, and it might be nice if it was tilt-able or, if you could mirror the screen on a tablet device or other CRT monitor, that would alleviate the screen size. I threw quite a lot of demos and games onto SD cards and it coped with them all. I am not claiming everything will run from this, but if someone wants an item testing for compatibility then send a file and I will do a follow up. I would have thought demos to be the most problematic, but all the ones I tried ran without issue. Even turning the disk worked faultlessly.

I did have a couple of crashes, although this I think was down to the low grade SD cards I tried. After upgrading to a more known brand of card the crashes seemed to disappear!

Faulty or incompatible sd card?

The main benefit of the Uk1541 I can see is that you don’t need to load a disk menu system to load the items on the disks or mount disk images. All you do is scroll through the list shown on the left of the device to find the disk you need, then mount it as described above. This is a major benefit, and from my knowledge, is unique to this device. This also leaves the main Commodore screen clear to do what you need.

However, the device is supposed to be a true clone of the Commodore 1541 disk drive, so it doesn’t feature any fast loaders, and loads disks and programmes at the same speed the 1541 would load them. Your cartridge port is free to add a speed loader cartridge, and you will no doubt have such a device lying around. You can easily plug it in and gain an instant speed advantage.

Once a disk is mounted you just use the standard Commodore dos commands LOAD and RUN, and the LED lights will show the loading status and flash like the real 1541 with respect to any disk errors. At the time of writing the device would not load PRG files, although I was surprised CRT and G64 files were not supported. As already mentioned the developer is said to be working on PRG file support, and of course we don’t know what else, as the devices firmware can be updated, so other shortcomings could be added at a later date. Also, you have to remember the device was created to be a 1541 clone, so CRT support and even TAP files don’t work on a real 1541!

Another 2 disk demo

As stated in the review, I downloaded quite a few demos and games, and some that failed even on the SD2UIEC devices all ran perfectly on the UK1541. I was unable to find a game or demo that failed.

I am just blown away at some of the items released recently to the Commodore world, and although it looks hacky (i.e. it’s a bare circuit board), the device works perfectly and solves so many problems. Yes, of course would I like to load TAP files! GRC files? YES! But, as it stands it’s an amazing piece of equipment, and still under development with firmware upgrades.

Here is a link to the card creator’s YouTube video showing the device in use:

GEOS loaded and running from the device


Although the version I tested was still a BETA it’s a definite must-have! If anyone asks me for a recommended SD card reader-type device for loading disk images, this would be one of my recommendations.

Amiga Buyers Guide

By Bartosz Debski

You have decided to buy an Amiga. Regardless what model you had in the past or if you are completely new into this, picking the right Amiga can be confusing. There are plenty of articles and videos on which Amiga is the most powerful, most expandable, or what you can add to your precious computer, and you can easily be lost on what is right for you. Amiga is still alive and well. You can buy expansions, mods, and even a refurbished A1200 with a one year warranty. Altogether this creates a thriving yet somewhat confusing market. Hopefully this article should make your decision easier. Most of the technical specifications for each model are easily available online and the guide below is free of fine details such as clock speeds and CPU models to make it easier to digest.

Amiga 500/500+

These models are not as popular today even if the A500 was the most popular machine in the whole Amiga line back in the day. The reason for this is lack of expansion. You can't easily add a hard drive or PCMCIA card; you are stuck with a floppy drive and that's it. So why would I mention the 500 here? In Feb 2014 Hevrè Messinger created custom firmware for the Gotek Floppy Emulator to work with the Amiga. This little device acts as a USB Floppy similar to what SDIEC does for Commodore 8bit machines. This brought the A500 back to the table, as now you can download disk images to USB stick and play them on the Amiga as in the old days, but without the stress that some floppies might not work. If you are after games and not interested that much in expanding your Amiga, the 500 is ideal to have hours of fun. This is also probably the cheapest option you can get and there are plenty of them on eBay. Remember, the majority of games have been created to work on the most popular Amigas, but yes, not all games will work.

Amiga 600

Next in line is a newer version of the 500+. Smaller, but better equipped for the future Amiga. It features an internal ATA connector for a hard drive and a PCMCIA slot on the side for further expansions. This allows to easily add a hard drive in the form of a 4GB CF card via a cheap adapter. A PCMCIA slot allows adding CF cards for convenient file transfers between the Amiga and a PC or network card if you want to connect to the Internet. Internal expansions also allow the user to add up to 2MB of memory via a trap door on the bottom. Such expansion is highly recommended if you want to use a hard drive as the OS takes more memory to operate.

This is a very compact model but with the ability to expand; the A600 survived better than the A500. The only problem you have from a gaming perspective is that games which use the numeric keyboard can't be played properly as this part is missing by design on the A600. It featured an improved graphics chipset, although most of the Amiga 500 games could be made to run on the machine.

Amiga 1200

This model is the most powerful one and comes with a brand new AGA graphics chip, better CPU, 2MB RAM, and can be greatly expanded. If you are thinking about getting an Amiga where you want to do more than just games, then this one is for you. With the right expansion in memory and CPU you can even run a modern operating system. One might assume that the A1200 being the last model, it will play “most” of the games without any problem. There are a number of games that simply will not work on an unmodified machine. On the other hand the A1200 does have the best-looking games designed to utilize the AGA chip. Being the most expandable Amiga comes with a price. A1200 are usually most expensive to buy, even in an unmodified setup. The last thing to remember is WHDLoad. If you plan to use it, you need to arm your A1200 with extra memory, either with a PCMCIA SRAM expansion card (min. 1MB) or by trap door expansion card. WHDLoad needs memory to run and that will prevent you from running many games, including AGA ones.

Amiga 1000

This was the first-ever Amiga to hit the market. This personal computer is now more of a collector item than an actual gaming machine. It was quite ahead of the time when first released and is highly modular. Today the A1000 is not an option for casual Amiga fan as they are much rarer than any model.

Pictured Amiga 3000

Amiga 2000/3000/4000

All models are built in a modern, modular fashion, and are an option for those who want to invest time and money. In comparison to the A500, A600, and A1200 there are far fewer units on the market and they usually require some work to achieve a working state, and are more for the power user than a casual gamer.

Amiga CD32

Commodore's own home console is a nice piece of kit. With the right customization it can be turned into an A1200 with a CDROM. Due to commercial failure there are not many of them around. This again boosts the price for those machines that survived. Additional modifications are needed so it can be used for more than CD32 games – it is more of a collector piece than good alternative to the A1200.

Amiga CDTV

This is an A500-based system targeted for the multimedia market. With an additional keyboard and mouse you can turn it into a working computer. As the CDTV has a CDROM drive as default media, a floppy is an optional add-on. Personally, I class this model as another collector item, providing you can find one.

Amiga in the modern world

Getting an Amiga today is usually a purchase which you need to invest a bit more than in just the computer itself. Unfortunately the 3.5 inch floppy disk did not age well, and replacing it with either Gotek floppy drive emulator or adding a CF card as your HDD is almost a must. Games are found easily online and with the help of such tools such as WHDLoad your Amiga can be a great machine to use. If you decide to use a CF card and/or explore the Amiga world beyond gaming it is essential to have Workbench (Amiga OS) and at least Kickstart 3.0. Workbench is still sold commercially and can be purchased either on the AmigaForever or AmigaKit websites.


An Amiga can be connected to normal TV via Composite Out or RF but as with all older hardware, trying to get a nice picture on LCD/LED TVs is a problem. Amiga was designed to work with CRT TVs/Monitors so getting a small CRT TV is advisable. A small LCD TV also will also do the job but without scan lines. Games and programs will never look as good.


Getting an Amiga to play games on original hardware is the most common reason to get one. On eBay, retro markets, and car boot sales you can find plenty of them but I would not advise to get your games from such sources. Unless you are after original boxes and manuals, downloading a game from the Internet is a much safer option. A lot of original games spend years in the attics, and are exposed to humidity and dust, which is very damaging for floppy disks. Such disks can ruin your floppy drive or contribute heavily to destroying other floppies by getting your floppy drive head dirty. A Gotek drive or hard disk with WHDLoad is the most convenient and up-to-date solution.

Whereas a Gotek drive will emulate a floppy drive and trick the Amiga into thinking data is coming from a normal floppy drive, it will not be any faster (but it is reliable). Employing WHDLoad will allow you to run games from a hard drive even if that was not possible originally. This loader also overcome incompatibility barriers so more games can be added to your library. Please note that it will not allow you run AGA games on non-AGA hardware.

If you decided which model you want to go with now is the time to get it. Online auction sites are an obvious place but if you can attend a retro market, you might be better off as the price can be lower. Amiga Kit Store sometimes sells refurbished A1200s with a 1 year warranty.


Review: Stairrunner

for the unexpanded Vic 20

By Commodore Free

Stairrunner (2014)

Elevator Chaos, Remember Young Wizzy? This time around he tried practising an elevation spell and as a result the elevators in his neighbourhood are out of control! Help Wizzy reach the top of each building and undo the damage being caused by his spell!

How To Play

Use joystick left/right to navigate. Reach the top floor of each level!

Game Features

Always difficult to code on an unexpanded Vic, the lack of memory can cause some many issues, the main one being lack of memory! Still, Retro Revival has managed to port its Stairrunner game to the unexpanded VIC with great success. The game starts with a (quite) sparse title screen, and just the words “PRESS FIRE”. Doing so takes you to the first level of the game, the elevators move up and down, (on the first level they are almost moving identically). You need to guide your guy across the screen where he will move up a level or floor and then repeat until he has escaped out of the door that always seems to be on the top-right of the screen.

Timing is of the essence, and when you start to move in a direction your guy continues in that direction even when you release the joystick, so a little jiggling is required on later levels. The levels get progressively harder and harder, the difficulty seems to be not only the speed of the elevators, but also because they split, so instead of them all moving together, they start to move independently in speed i.e., some are faster hitting the top and moving down quicker than others. The main problem on the VIC version is the strange colour schemes as seen in the screenshot.

Release Information

The full game is available on Cassette Tape and as Digital Download.

Price: 9.95 euro (Cassette Tape) / 3.95 (Digital Download)


Graphics 6/10
Sound 6/10
Gameplay 7/10


I am going to be quite harsh (indeed my scoring has been) and upset Vic and Revival studios. The VIC version isn’t the best of their Stairrunner ports, The game itself is very smooth and with solid gameplay, I do wonder about the graphics, especially the colour scheme. It would (to my mind) be better just left black rather than the psychedelic colours. I can see the programmer is trying to inject colour, however I don’t think it worked.

Review: Rush

PET Game

By Commodore Free

The chase is on A heist has gone wrong and now you are being chased!

You must escape the police by running and jumping from rooftop to rooftop, while grabbing leftover cash wherever you can. Carefully time your jumps as falling will mean instant death.

How to play

Press left and right (o and p) to move and fire (w or i) to jump

Game Features

Loading the game gives the rather snazzy Retro Revival Studio LOGO that seems to unpeel to a RUSH logo and then just the options to START GAME, You may be forgiven in thinking this is some sort of heavy metal tribute game and well, you would be wrong!

You do your jumping by pressing the space key. I suppose most people will have seen this game ported to a number of systems. The original is available here

I wasn’t, I must admit, expecting very much from the Pet version, although I was quite surprised as the game is very smooth and incredibly addictive. Sadly a lot of the detail from the original game had to be removed but that’s understandable considering the platform we are on. The game doesn’t lose any playability and is as still fast and frantic as the original was. The original was recently ported to the Commodore 64 (though not by Revival Studios) and is just unbelievable When I first saw the C64 version I thought it must be a windup and kept looking for the “real machine” running the game. I only believed it when I actually had the files to load and run myself on my own system.

Still, I am running off-topic and am supposed to be reviewing the Pet version.

So, within the limitations of the machine, we have Rush.

I like the way (if you hit a building) it pushes you back. Everything seems to be well implemented, like gravity and jump space.

See here? The building pushes you back until you jump.

The program is very cut down and stylised, looking like a night-vision action shot, and animation is as well as can be expected.

Release information

The full game is available on Cassette Tape and as Digital Download.

Visit Store:

Price: 9.95 euro (Cassette Tape) / 3.95 (Digital Download)

If you buy the tape version, you will of course get the digital download for free.


Graphics 8/10
good animation
Sound 8/10
it does beep!
Gameplay 8.5/10


I am not sure what to add. It’s a solid game with a high score recorded at the game's end.

Review: Scramble

By Commodore Free

Released by: Tomk

Loading the game gives no indication as to what you should expect for this, and... it’s a fairly accurate conversion of the original arcade version of Scramble.

Here is a video of the original arcade version:

Scramble, for the under-the-rock types of people who don’t get out much, was a scrolling, shooting game in which you took control of a spaceship and had to survive six different levels of attack. If your craft hit scenery, bombs, blasters, rockets, or fuel silos you would die. Your ship had the ability to shoot forward and bomb. You needed to kill everything, and you needed to collect fuel by bombing or shooting it; otherwise you would run out and die. Faster attacks and fuel use increased in further attack waves (or levels). The game would eventually become impossible.

This doesn’t seem to be a 100% clone of the game, but the attack waves, rocket placement, and landscapes seem accurate. Comparing the two side by side lasts only a few minutes because it’s impossible to view two screens at once.

You immediately notice that the scoring and level indicators on the C64 version are on the bottom, while the arcade version is on the top.

Arcade version
C64 version

Small things (like fatter graphics) are on the C64 version; however, this doesn’t detract from the smooth gameplay and otherwise accurate conversion. If I hadn’t found YouTube I would have sworn that the c64 version was very accurate. It does miss out on some of the sound jingles, and the shooting and bombing sounds are not 100% accurate, although my old, aged brain did tend to give this impression.

Game play remains the same, and (some claim) Scramble is a classic and (possibly) the first multi-level shooter. It is, in my opinion, a very influential game, and you can see its influence in Jeff Minter's games. It's one game I remember playing fondly on other systems, although I can't ever remember playing a c64 version, although various ports were attempted.

So scoring is with the accuracy of the original in mind, rather than as an original release:


Graphics 7/10
Sounds 5/10
misses some jingles
Gameplay 8/10
still very playable


You could add more, but it wouldn’t help the game play. This is more a classic port of the game than anything else, and for that reason it works incredibly well. Does it look dated? Well... don’t we all!

Review: Rocket Smash

By Commodore Free

Programmer: John C Lønningdal
Graphics and Music: Saul Cross

Developed for the Commodore 64 home computer, ROCKET SMASH EX is an extended version of Saul Cross and John Christian Lønningdal's ROCKET SMASH, released in 2013 as an entry in RGCD's annual 16KB gamedev competition.

Re-released for the RGCD 16k Competition, Rocket Smash is a very slick presentation.

As the music pumps out on the main title screen, it's more a retro tune than the expected Techno “beat master”, it's very 80`s style (not in a bad way), but it took me some time to really appreciate the tune and it does “get under the skin” as it’s "clicky dancey" nature will have you as frustrated as the game will.

The game should be very familiar to most players. You must collect various bits of rocket and then fly with them over the “base” of the rocket there they drop, and start to “build” up your rocket spaceship. You need to collect the parts in order, so once the rocket is complete you then need to collect small containers of fuel and drop them on the rocket. They start to fill up the rocket, and once full you have to then go inside the rocket, which will then take off to the next level. If that’s too easy, then the nasty items floating around will surely wipe the smug feelings of “pieces of pie” from your face.

The graphics and sound controls are just about perfect, and scored on the side of perfection as I find it difficult to justly any criticism about the program. With a great sense of floating and space this is a very well thought-out and implemented game. The bubbles on one of the levels are just beautiful in their floaty-ness (assuming this is a real world) and the animation on them is faultless. Use a joystick to move around and the fire button shoots a lovely psycadellic ray gun – it’s not missing anything, nothing is overdone, and the menu screen lets you set game options like music, sound effects and difficulty level. Everything is implemented well. I think that’s all that needs to be said. Rather than just download it, make sure you buy a copy.

Rocket built now wheres the fuel


Graphics 10/10
Sounds 10/10
sampled speech (nice)
Gameplay 10/10


The only problem with the game I can see is that it’s totally perfect!

Copyright: RGCD 2013-15

Compatibility: PAL/NTSC C64/128/GS

Cost £25 on cartridge + PNP

The standard cartridge version is packaged in a cardboard carton, whereas the deluxe version uses a modified plastic Universal Game Case.

The cover art features an illustration by Flemming Dupont and the deluxe version of the game comes complete with a printed manual, an A3 matte poster, a vinyl ROCKET SMASH EX sticker, and six random mini-stickers (the standard version does not include the poster or the mini-stickers). The 64KB PCB is housed in a neon orange transparent cartridge shell, illuminated from within by a white LED. The full game is also available for FREE download from our page.

Pystronik Software will also be selling the game on premium/budget disk and tape when they reopen their Binary Zone Retro Store

Review: Xain’D Sleena

By Commodore Free

[final version]

Released by: Sputnik World

Released as a TAP file with loading screen or as just a PRG file without the loading screen (of course, who wouldn’t want the TAP file?). Especially useful for the loading screen.

So LOADing the TAP file, we have the usual pixel revealed picture that looks really well drawn. Some music plays as the picture is revealed and the game loads in the background. I still think this is pretty cool, (yes I am quite sad)


Once the game loads the screen refreshes and you are greeted with the words:


Xain your responsibility is to defend all of the planets against the empire's invasion. Extra life 3000 points

You have to use a joystick in port one. This isn’t clear so take my word for it!

After hitting Fire to play the game I am afraid it’s a little downhill. You see an animated ship moving towards a planet; it's like watching something move but in 2 frames per second. You then see your ship move to a planet and the game flashes GET READY!

Hitting Fire again starts the game. I'm not sure what happened, but there isn’t any sound. I thought it was my computer at first so I loaded it on another machine. It's all a bit more downhill from here I am afraid. The gravity isn’t right and the animations are functional at best. Try as I could, I was just unable to get into the game. The lack of sound was quite weird (maybe this put me off), but if you like run and shoot games I think you would enjoy this – it’s a flip screen scroller. However, I became really bored and this feeling came over me very quickly.


Sounds 4/10
loading music then nothing!
Graphics 5/10
Gameplay 5/10


The loading screen had me really excited, but sadly the game quest doesn’t work. It says final version but I feel this still needs a lot of work, especially when compared to the original arcade version of the same game.

The game was released as an arcade version and sadly, this conversion does it no justice at all. See the arcade version here:

Review: Brick Buster!

By Commodore Free


Released by: Software of Sweden

The game is compatible with:

Brick Buster!

Released for Retro Gamer CD`s competition, this is a CRT (cartridge) file weighing in at the usual competition size of 16k.

The gameplay is tried and tested, and from the picture you know exactly what this is, but just for the one person (still head scratching at this point). Well, you move a small “bat” at the bottom of the screen represented by the white line. When you start the game a ball will bounce from your “bat” and upwards to the brick. When a brick is hit it will change colour, once hit again the blocks will again change until they cycle through to white. Hitting a white block will remove it, the ball bounces off these blocks, onto the side and top of the screen, then with gravity it moves down where you must “bat” the ball back upwards. If you miss and the ball falls off the bottom of the screen you lose a life and the game continues, but with one life less.

Bonus things: these fall randomly from the bricks

To play the game you use a joystick plugged into port 2, or a paddle and the Fire button to release the ball.

The game can also be played with a Paddle. To use the paddle you must have it plugged into port 1, too. You can use WinVICE with Alt Q to capture the mouse from your computer and emulating a paddle (I never tested this but did play on a real machine).

The music is quite cool, very retro classical, if that’s a proper phrasing to use. It reminds me of how really big music in classic games used to be, where you spent more time listening to the music than the game. The music would better suit a Tetris-style game rather than this but ...

Some very nice synth-style lead lines and a cool feel. Quite excellent.

The game itself is responsive and I like the scrolling down of the background behind the blocks, and just adds a touch of class. Also, when you start the game or after losing a life the music fades out and in again, just adding something to the game. It's nothing much, but each of these small details adds up, making the game stand out.

What would have been really good... if you picked up a bonus like faster and the music sped up, or a bonus of slower and the music slowed down, but I suppose we can’t have everything, can we?

The in-game graphics look rather plain. A static ball glides around, bouncing into rather bleak rectangular blocks. Some sort of animation is really needed with some lighting effects – you know – like “Arkanoid: Revenge of DOH” the game as is seems more reminiscent of the original “Arkanoid”.

It’s a decent enough version, but I personally think it needs a bit more graphical Pizazz, and sonically it's very sound.


Graphics 6/10
Sounds 8/10
way cool tunes
Gameplay 7/10
it’s an ok version


A decent enough version just needing a little more detail on the graphics side.

Review: Penultimate Fantasy V1.1

By Commodore Free

Code: Endurion of Avatar, RGCD
Music: Twoflower of TRIAD
Graphics: David Eriksson Fantasy

Quite interesting this one ...

So you control what looked like a small yellow bird was my first thought!

This is A Final Fantasy clone.

The story goes like this

Evil ravages the land and has stolen the four elemental crystals. Fight, level up, find your comrades and fight the four bosses to free your land. Use your technics, find where and what to steal, learn techs (there’s only two though) and gather magic spells. If you get defeated, you continue. All your stats, items, and deeds are still there so you don’t lose everything.

You walk about with the joystick. Pushing the Fire button to enter a menu, where you can use items or magic from your inventory, change equipment, examine surroundings (and toggle switches), or return to the game. Every few steps you’ll have what seem to be random encounters.

Using EXAM on a bed or a spring will revive and fully heal the complete party during a battle the time bars slowly fill. Once a time bar is full the character can choose an action to perform. FIGHT attacks with your weapon, SPECIAL depends on the character, MAGIC lets you use spells and ITEM lets you use an item. In battle, during target selection for spells, pushing right on a player will select the whole player party, pushing left on a single enemy selects all enemies. This only works where the spells allow this (attack magic and cure spells).

Special commands:

STEAL – tries to steal an item from an enemy. Not every enemy has an item, and not every steal attempt is successful. Some rare items can only be gotten by stealing

TECH – use STUDY to learn a tech from an enemy. There are only two technics, but they are quite powerful. Not every enemy has a technic to study, and not every study attempt is successful.

JUMP – Lets the character perform a long jump. The jump keeps the character out of the battle for three turns and attacks the targeted enemy afterwards. This can be useful to avoid being hit.

MIMIC – Uses randomly one of the chosen enemies attack against himself


Game tips:

Try to get all magic spells and equipment. Also, gather your comrades as soon as possible. Bosses appear when stepping on a certain tile in the map. They have certain elemental resistances and weaknesses. Your characters will be killed, so keep RAISE handy! Once you have all four crystals you need to return them

The game is played viewed from that strange top down side pseudo type style that’s neither one thing nor the other, however for this game it seems to work well (even if it doesn’t make everything look flat).

Pressing Fire brings up this menu:

Here you can look at Items or your equipment, examine an item or return to the game. Move the joystick to move the hand over the “thing” you want to do and press Fire, then further information (if any) will be given. I have found that if you approach an item from a different angle and then examine it again, you may find it does actually have something hidden within it! And let’s just say that fighting with a knife is more enjoyable than fighting without one (in this game).

When you start to fight the music changes to a more racy pace. It's not a game I would actually go out and look for, but this one works quite well and the control system seems very intuitive, so all I think that’s left is to give some scores.

As I said it's not a game I would actively go out and hunt out to play, and the 16k limitation means that the map isn’t going to be as large as you would think. Still, I found the game playable, although didn’t feel any urge to actually stick with it and finish. I just kept dabbling then looking for something else to try .


Graphics 6/10
Music 6.5/10
Gameplay 7/10

Review: Tutti Frutti 64

By Commodore Free

Released by: Mayday!


The zip file contains a read me and the source code.

The documentation on the plus 4 tape version says:

You are super strawberry, king of the orchard, in this fast moving all-action arcade game. Your job is to collect all the cherries from the orchard, as they are now ripe and it's fruit-picking time. But beware, not all the fruit is good fruit, and there are bad apples in the orchard which can fall on you and make you very ill, so try not to get underneath them. Also in the orchard are the acid apple gang who are determined to stop a good harvest by fair means or foul.

The programmer has written:

Flaws/Bugs of the C16/Plus4 original that were left out:

Apple fall slowdown when having 2 or more apples fall and running from left to right

On player death half-tiles stayed on screen, Cherry score was already counted when "collecting" half of the cherry

Add points to Score as level reward failing most of the time (at least from the disassembly I assume scoring was planned like I implemented it in this version)

Flaws/Bugs of the C16/Plus4 original that were reproduced:

Moving chests/boxes in Game type 3 will disappear from map on player death, but still be visible on screen. Fixing here would have influenced the gameplay. While it would have been nice to avoid that the solid apple tiles can get erased, allowing the moving boxes to finish their moves on player death would also have meant they could kill enemies. This seems logical, but it would influence the enemy counter and create a big difference to the original.

Enemies are allowed to walk over tiles blocking the enemy base. Because of hard sprites this looks a bit weird in the C64 version, but overall it's still more logical than in the original where those tiles get erased from screen, but not from the map.


Based on the Commodore 16/plus4 version that was released by Mr. Chip Software back in 1985, retro gamer lists Tutti Frutti for the Commodore 16 as one of the machine's top ten games, which in its case was a clone of the arcade Mr Doo! (well clone is a bit strong, more like an artistic, unlicensed version of) to be fair, after about level 3 its similarities WITH Mr Doo seem to start fading.

Anyway, moving on from that intro you can see the plus 4/16 version here:

The conversion to the c64 looks very close indeed, although the plus 4/16 seems to be faster, so In this version of the game you are a Strawberry! You must collect the cherries while avoiding the green apples. You can go over the landscape in a sort of mining-style, excavating away the soil to get to the cherries. The green things can only walk along the mined areas, so as you dig more away... so they can move more?! Is anyone still following this?

You have the ability to throw a small ball; this kills the green things on contact. It also bounces all around the mined areas like a random bouncing thing that bounces around mined areas; however, more often than not it will bounce around and come back to you without killing any green things. Phew! ...that’s simple then.

Later levels expand on this idea, where you have to push blocks of cherries to squash green things and then break the blocks to get the cherries. It's all very odd and could possibly be a dream and not a real game at all. Still, having never played it on the plus4/16 I downloaded a copy, and it does indeed run faster and look almost identical, even down to the music (albeit with the SID on the C64, Ted on the plus4) it’s an accurate conversion.

Let’s score it before I wake up then:


Graphics 6/10
looks like the original but...
Sounds 6/10
original sound track reproduced but...
Gameplay 6/10
starts to get rather weird


Too late! I woke up

Review: Battle Khaos II

By Commodore Free

Code & Music: Asterion
GFX & Add. Code: Trompkins
Flavour Text: Tinnitus

As the game loads and the music kicks in, I sat and I was going to criticize the music for not following what you would class as authentic druid-style sounds, as these are more synth-like. I felt it would be, you know, like a flute and drum-style intro with maybe some fanfare trumpets, but listening to the music for some time, what the heck do I know! It actually goes really well with the game, especially when the pipes come in and the thunder sound effect pumping out like a drum is really very atmospheric, very unusual and interesting music indeed. However, it can get a bit monotonous, but heck – I had to play this at night with headphones on, as I had no other reviewing time other than nights. The game took some reviewing as well, as you know this isn’t my style of game, I prefer just to move and shoot things.

Having to crack open the text file manual that came with the game, I started to read and transport myself into another realm! Yep, you do need to read the text file. I don’t think you can just pick it up and play it, so you will have to set some time aside before playing. I also think you really need more than one player, so maybe it's a good time to Google up some friends, as you can have a maximum of 4 (in the game).

So, Battle Khaos II is a multiplayer strategic war game that is inspired by the games like MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DARK LEGIONS, and also Julian Gollop's CHAOS - The Battle of Wizards. The goal is to kill the enemy wizards. This is done mainly by casting sorceries and also by summoning various creatures and sending them off to fight.

You will know yourself if this is your type of game. It’s quite absorbing and seems to have been well-written.


Graphics 6/10
they don’t need to be special
Sounds 7/10
interesting music
Gamepay 7/10